Here are a couple of tips when playing a "chip shot" (when your ball is just off the putting green):
Make sure that you set up with your hands ahead of the ball and, as you swing, keep the hands ahead of the ball. The grip end of the club should lead the club head. Try to use very little wrist action and move with your arms and shoulders. This shot does not require very much body action. As you practice swing before a chip shot try to "brush the grass" with the club with a nice easy sweeping motion. Avoid trying to "lift" the ball into the air and let the loft do the work.
I like to chip with a 7 or 8 iron to get the ball onto the green and rolling smoothly toward the hole. Touch is more important than power, and a chip shot is a lot like a long putt on the green. You want to get that ball up close to the hole for a 1-putt.
Mack McCarley is the PGA Golf Professional at the Antelope Hills Golf Courses, and is a member of the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame.